ANC to consult traditional leaders on land expropriation without compensation
The ANC will consult traditional leaders and other groups on its land expropriation without compensation policy as it explores modalities for its implementation.
Secretary-general Ace Magashule said on Sunday the party has not reached a decision on how the resolution will be carried out. He said the ANC’s land summit held last week was intended to engage with its alliance partners on the matter.
He was briefing journalists on the sidelines of the ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Irene, Pretoria.
The land question has been hotly debated since the party’s December resolution and was ignited when Parliament voted in support of land expropriation without compensation.
Last week, traditional leaders spoke against some of the submissions made at the land summit, singling out former president Kgalema Motlanthe.
He had remarked about the "complicity" of tribal councils during forced removals in the modern era necessitated by mining in rural areas.
In a move that seemed to be intended to appease the leaders, Magashule distanced the party from Motlanthe’s utterances.
Rural communities are considered the ANC’s stronghold and Magashule’s comments suggest the party intends to tread carefully. The ANC had already earned the ire of traditional leaders when the government implemented the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, which placed the control of land under municipalities. "We need to bring all these views together, we need to engage and that’s why we will be engaging the traditional leadership," Magashule said.
The NEC is also discussing regional and provincial conferences, which Magashule said the committee had decided would continue as planned, except in the case of the deeply divided KwaZulu-Natal, where extensive assessments would have to be made before they get the green light.
The gatherings have in the past been reduced to chaos in some provinces, with violence the order of the day as warring factions clashed over leadership positions. The party said it would deal with "manipulation and gatekeeping".
"We will deal with challenges of manipulation [and] gatekeeping; where we feel work has not been done enough, we won’t go ahead with a particular conference," he said.
On Saturday, it was reported that an Umkhonto weSizwe Veterans League member was shot and killed during the ANC Youth League regional conference in Mpumalanga.
Magashule said that the NEC had endorsed the newly elected Free State executive committee and deliberations were still being held over the appointment of a new North West premier after Supra Mahumapelo’s axing last week.